|Re: 33S memory: why not?|
Message #8 Posted by Paul Brogger on 9 Mar 2004, 7:54 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Warren Taylor
If I've got it straight, all of HP's recent calculator models have been old calculator "application software" re-implemented on new, non-proprietary (that is, non-HP) CPUs. The calculator line appears to have been rather hastily re-built on whatever scattered, burnt-out rubble of the various calculator groups was to be found after years of corporate neglect and abuse. (Somebody correct me if I'm overstating this.)
HP had enough of a job putting all-new foundations (CPUs) beneath their old models' code, and new wrappers (externals, SD & Flash memory, USB interfaces, etc.) around them. They seem to have undertaken as little change to the functional code base as they could get away with. All of those decisions were no doubt driven by cold, unfeeling spreadsheets somewhere deep in the bureaucratic gray matter.
Hey, they're back producing credible calculators! Most of us should need only remember the 6s and 6s solar to restore a measure of genuine appreciation for the 33s and 49G+.
For the 33s they chose a stock, off-the-shelf part and wrote a Saturn emulator for it. 32K is as cheap as 4K, so why not use that?
Heck, they could just as easily have put in the 32K part, but only enabled use of, say, 6.3K of it. And some of us would be happier because that amount of RAM seems somehow more "appropriate". [Go figure!]
I suspect we'll start minimizing label use by using flags a lot and unwinding subroutines, and eventually fill up that 32K with lots of cool stuff. (And then the "Why no serial I/O capability?" chorus will get louder . . . )
The 32K is a luxurious consequence of the ever-decreasing cost of silicon real estate. The 26 labels and 33 variables limitations are unfortunate consequences of the ever-increasing cost of labor, compounded (I suspect) by the calculator line's rather tortured organizational history of late.
Edited: 9 Mar 2004, 7:59 p.m.